Sunday

Fake News? Ha! Kid's Stuff

Most of us have come to rely upon photographic (and more recently video) evidence to document some event or situation. The "eye witness" provided by such technology was generally considered to be "proof" of a kind.

Of course, we realize that photos, film and video can be manipulated - you don't think we actually have film of a real Millenium Falcon zipping around picking off Tie Fighters, do you? Hopefully not, unless you are maybe 8 years old.

"Believe your eyes"

What many of us don't realize perhaps is how readily available some remarkable technology is. For example, "FakeApp" can produce quite convincing videos of famous people doing things they would not (or did not) actually do; like young actress Emma Watson apparently appearing in a porn film.

Here is a more amusing and less sordid example, replacing various actors with Nick Cage's face. The different technologies that can do this usually employ some kind of AI to analyze existing videos and images of the "subject" and then allow the facial features to be "mapped" onto the (moving) face of a different person in the finished video. If done properly, with two people with similar features, it's quite impressive.

We also have readily available, affordable technology that can change voices to say anything we want. Couple that with the ability to alter faces in stills or videos to put people in situations they never were in real life. Perhaps compromising situations - maybe even criminal situations. And that's only the technology we know about...

Potentially a huge frickin' deal, if you let your imagination run riot. Fake videos of political leaders? Sure, we can do that! Throw in the audio technology mentioned previously and Pandora's Box is flung wide open.

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